First Area courthouse*

The "house of Defense", as it was called, appears to have built on the private property of Neels Laersen, and at this court he was"ordered to make or leaue a lane or street from Upland creeke to ye house of defense or Country house, or in default to be fined at the discretion of the court."...thus it was certainly the first courthouse within the county limits.

A new commission for justices was issued May 28, 1680 by Governor Andros, in which the number was reduced from 6 to 5, 2 of whom were English.  As nearly as can be ascertained the places of residence of the justices were; Israel Helm at Upland; Otto Ernest Cock, at Tinicum; Henry Jones, at or near Wicaco; Lawrence Cock, at Moyamensing; and George Brown, nearly opposite to Trenton.

They held their first court at Upland on 8th June, and among other things ordered a poll tax of one scipple of wheat or 5 gilders to be levied, "for defraying ye charges of this court's sitting," to be brought unto Justice Otto Ernest att Tinnagcong Island."  They also determined to move the court form Upland to "sit and meet at ye town of Kingsesse in ye Schuylkills."



This page updated on January 1, 2011